We are in full harvest and the quality is there.
We pass several times to harvest only the ripe grains and will not finish the harvest before mid-January, if not at the end of January. As shown in the photos below, the ripening is very variable from one coffee tree to another and it is not easy to select only the very ripe beans.
Transition to organic farming delayed by a few months
Last year, we had already noticed dark spots on some coffee trees, a sign of the presence of a fungal disease, anthracnose. This year, a very virulent form of this disease has taken hold and we have decided to postpone the 3-year transition period by 6 months which will allow us to obtain organic farming certification. The disease being well established, and affecting moreover our new vanilla plantations, it seemed to us prudent to envisage one, perhaps two conventional treatments in alternation with the treatments recognized by organic farming that we have already started to use .
This disease does not affect the quality of the coffee in any way but could greatly reduce the yield either directly or indirectly by the size of the affected branches or the elimination of coffee trees too affected to avoid the spread of spores.
With the 2,500 plants planted in 2019, OBATA is the majority in the plantation. The resistance to "rust" of this variety makes it possible to envisage a reconversion in organic culture, all the more necessary given the diversification in progress. We hope to be able to move in this direction from 2020.
History: coffee farmer ... by chance
The purchase of the 5-hectare property in 2012 was intended to build a small second home on land and also test the possibility of growing vines in the tropics. The land was already planted with coffee on about 4 hectares, but the sellers had assured us that we would have no obligation to take care of it, one of their employees taking care of everything in exchange for the money from the sale to the local cooperative. The employee in question having been dismissed shortly after on justified grounds, we found ourselves alone and without agricultural knowledge at the head of 4 hectares of coffee. So we looked for one employee, then two, and asked for support from the cooperative's agricultural engineers. Gradually more comfortable, we bought the machines to produce our own coffee and decided to export it to Switzerland where we continue to spend 6 months a year. As for the secondary residence, it became the main residence during the 6 months that we spend in Costa Rica.